Nov 09 2014

Newsletter November 2014

Published by under Newsletters

091011.SOFimageSea of Faith – Dunedin
Exploring Meaning in Life
Newsletter NOVEMBER 2014


Next Meeting

Compassion and Wairua

Thursday, 27th NOVEMBER

Highgate Church buildings,

Maori Hill

Tea and Coffee will be available
between 5.00 and 5.40 pm
Food will be available
$7 for as much as you want to eat plus rent
$4 if you come for the meeting only
The programme will start at 6 pm


We Start With…

A two minute period of silence.


From the Chair

 At our October meeting we discussed possible meanings behind the phrase ‘Spiritual but not religious’. Commonly heard these days, to some this means wishing to be fully human without the constraints and dogma that goes with a religion; to others it can mean being spiritually independent, and not noticing the value of commitment to community, and compassion for others, which membership of a religion can provide.

Our last meeting of the year, on November 27th, will follow our tradition of choosing a single word, on which each person is invited to talk about their own thoughts for approximately three minutes. We canvassed a number of possible topics at the October meeting, and the two highest-polling were compassion and wairua. At the meeting I announced the topic would be compassion, largely because I didn’t think that all of our members would be able to talk about wairua for three minutes. But on reflection, I think those voting for wairua might enjoy introducing us to a topic new to many of us, so we will invite everyone to talk for three minutes on either compassion or wairua. This is a wonderful opportunity to share personal reflection and personal anecdote. Feel welcome to share your thoughts with folk who will respect and value them.

Three additional topics were written in to the voting sheets: ISIS/terrorism, equality, and pacifism. We can take notice of these when selecting topics and speakers for next year.

Sea of Faith is a discussion group, and many of our best meetings come about from discussion lead by one of our members. We’d like to continue this. There will be an opportunity at our November meeting to propose topics for our 2015 meetings and also to volunteer to present a chosen topic. Not all members would wish to be a presenter, but it would be good if we had a good range of input from people who enjoy Sea of Faith meetings and have a topic/idea/book they would enjoy presenting for discussion. Please do consider offering to do a presentation, remember you are among friends. :-)
– Gretchen 03 473 0031

Internet Help

This snippet from a site called ‘Headspace’…

Maori Mental Health

The Maori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model. Maori see health as a four-sided concept representing four basic beliefs of life: Te Taha Hinengaro (psychological health), Te Taha Wairua (spiritual health), Te Taha Tinana (physical health) and Te Taha Whanau (family health).

This is known as Te Whare Tapa Wha.

The Whare Tapa Wha can be applied to any health issue affecting Maori from physical to psychological wellbeing.

Wairua/Spirituality – is acknowledged to be the most essential requirement for health. It is believed that without a spiritual awareness an individual can be considered to be lacking in wellbeing and more prone to ill health. Wairua may also explore relationships with the environment, between people, or with heritage. The breakdown of this relationship could be seen in terms of ill health or lack of personal identity. When confronted with a problem Maori do not seek to analyse its separate components or parts but ask in what larger context it resides, incorporating ancestors or future generations to discussions. This may mean the discussion goes off on a tangent but the flow will return to the question.


The story of The Good Samaritan is widely held to be the one that best emphasises Christian belief and practice. Karen Armstrong has promoted a Charter for Compassion.

The text of the Charter for Compassion

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

You can sign up to the Charter on the Internet 

Newsletter Editor:
Alan Jackson
55 Evans Street
Ph: 473 6947

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